Rivals gaining ground in Odisha due to dynamic leadership: BJD’s Baijayant Panda
Baijayant Jay Panda, the MP for Kendrapada, said the BJD would struggle to face the challenge unless chief minister Naveen Patnaik addressed several issues urgently.Updated: Mar 28, 2017 22:23 IST
The BJP’s success in the recent rural elections in Odisha has led to calls for introspection in the state’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
Baijayant Jay Panda, the MP for Kendrapada, has pointed out in a newspaper article that rivals are “gaining ground because of their dynamic leadership” and the BJD would struggle to face the challenge unless chief minister Naveen Patnaik addressed several issues urgently.
He wrote about his association the chief minister’s father, Biju Patnaik, and the birth of the BJD in 1997 when the Congress government of the time was mired in corruption, nepotism and other ills.
“If we honestly introspect, we must acknowledge that all the above listed allegations about the political environment in 1997, including widespread corruption and sheltering of powerful people committing criminal act, are again being alleged about Odisha of the past three years,” the BJD parliamentarian said.
Originally written for an Odiya newspaper, he posted the English version of the article on Twitter on Tuesday.
"BJD: Time To Introspect" my OpEd today in a prominent Odia paper (along with its English version) as indicated by BJD president last month🙏 pic.twitter.com/7aY1kxDpRW— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) March 28, 2017
“Furthermore, the allegation in this period that not just the government but the party too has been run by bureaucrats have been growing louder,” Panda wrote.
He said the panchayat election results should not have been a surprise for those who have been analysing the party’s evolution in the past three or four years.
The parliamentarian rued that key positions in the BJD are with “opportunists from various fields” and those who struggled for the party and have given honest feedback.
Panda dwelt at length about Patnaik’s strengths, which helped him overcome initial challenges after taking over as the chief minister in 2000.
“He became known for swift and hard action against corruption, regularly dropping party colleagues. And equally important, taking unprecedented disciplinary steps against even IAS officer,” he said.
Odisha has come a long way over the past 17 years, but there can and will be a debate as to how much more could have been achieved, especially investment and jobs, he suggested.
Panda’s article follows fellow party parliamentarian Tathagata Satpathy’s allegation that the BJP is trying to split the BJD.
“BJP hard at work to divide @bjd_odisha in Parliament, maybe even in assembly. They want AIADMK type split,” tweeted the BJD’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha.
“They want to take away @bjd_odisha’s party name & symbol. Rumors afloat that only one MP will swing this deal for them. Ha!”
They want to take away @bjd_odisha's party name & symbol. Rumors afloat that only one MP will swing this deal for them. Ha!— Office of T Satpathy (@SatpathyLive) March 27, 2017
In what appeared to be a move to scotch speculation about differences among BJD leaders, Panda shared through his Twitter handle on Tuesday a picture of him with Satpathy and NCP parliamentarian Supriya Sule.
😉 In Central Hall today, "a rose between two thorns." A pat on the back to millennials who can say who said that in history without Googling pic.twitter.com/S2W1HlKJ10— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) March 28, 2017
First Published: Mar 28, 2017 22:20 IST